"Mirror Ball is a sort of failure in design terms" says Tom Dixon in the film by Dezeen. The light that helped turn his company into an international brand would have been less successful if the design had achieved what he set out to create.
Mirror Ball is a highly reflective lamp consisting of a lightweight transparent plastic sphere coated with a thin layer of aluminium. Inspired by the pioneers of space travel and fascinated by hi-tech processes – we used the process similar to that used in creating sunglasses to make the MIRROR BALL – an over-scaled, basic yet extravagant spotlight.
A shiny exterior hides a tough interior. Our MIRROR BALL lights start life as a polycarbonate ball made from the same material used in protective visors and riot shields. It allows the ornamental looking object to remain robust throughout it’s long life.
The lamp is one of our best-selling products. However, the success of the product was completely inadvertent.
"I thought that if I made the simplest shape I could get away with in highly polished mirror, it would be invisible because it would reflect its surroundings."
"In practice, it did the polar opposite," he explains. "It is very much a focal point of a room, almost a blingy object in a way. But it made it a more successful object commercially as a result."
"So that's a lesson for all designers," he adds. "Sometimes your biggest failures could be your biggest successes."